Ma. Carmencita Isabela Carlos will banner the girls team in the Under-14 World Juniors Tennis Championships (WJTC) next month.
Alexandra Eala and Julia Asaliah Ignacio are also competing in the WJTC Final Qualifying Round scheduled on April 2-7 in Nonthaburi province, Thailand.
Carlos, who is currently No. 1852 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) juniors rankings, is proud to have been given the chance to carry the national colors in the top-level tournament.
"I feel honored to play and represent the country. This is my third straight year to be part of the 14 and under team. I am determined to do my best for the team to make it to the World Group this year," said Carlos in an interview before her departure on Monday night. She was accompanied by her father, lawyer Manuel Eduardo.
Eala, Ignacio, and coach Patrick John Tierro will leave on March 31.
Carlos expressed optimism on the team's performance in the high-level tournament, saying "I expect our team to give its best fight and effort to make it to the Top 4 in the Asia-Oceania zone. This will take us to the World Group this year. Hopefully, we do it."
She has competed in Thailand, Cambodia, and Nepal since joining the ITF juniors circuit last year.
"I started playing ITF when I turned 13 last year. I won all qualifying matches and one main draw match. The competition was really tough because the players are older, stronger, faster, and more experienced. Playing in the juniors circuit has made me more determined to improve and work harder," said Carlos, who is training under Swiss Dominik Utzinger, a former professional player.
The presence of 12-year-old Eala is also expected to boost the team's chances to qualify in the World Group.
Eala won the prestigious Les Petits As-Le Mondial Lacoste Junior Championships in Tarbes, France last month. For her victory, she got a wild card in the qualifying round of the French Open Juniors in June.
Eala also pocketed five doubles titles as part of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under-14 touring team to Young Stars Tournaments in Europe last year.
In 2016, Eala and Melanie Faye Dizon participated in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Future Stars Tournament Asia-Pacific leg held in Singapore.*PNA
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